Northern Michigan University student Luke Tschumperlin of Beaver Dam, Wis., is in the Disney Professional Internships Program. He applied to be a digital content intern, along with 400 other applicants. After three rounds of rigorous interviews, Tschumperlin was the one selected for the role, which aligns with his major in art and design with a concentration in digital media, and his minor in hospitality systems.
His internship overlooks the Disney College Program, culinary program and international program. Tschumperlin had previously participated in the Disney College Program during the fall 2022 semester. He worked at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida while taking online classes at NMU. He networked with professionals throughout the Walt Disney Company, took part in learning and career development sessions, and lived and worked with people from around the world.
It was Tschumperlin's longtime love of Disney and Northern's support for participants in the program that sealed his decision on which university to attend. And he said it was his experience in the Disney College Program, which made him knowledgeable about Disney's history and corporate environment, that gave him an edge when applying for the internship.
“My internship is fun going full circle, working on the other side of the college program, which is super cool because it did so much for me,” said Tschumperlin. “Being able to showcase it and everything on the other side through digital content is really awesome.”
Tschumperlin makes social media content for internal and external communications with those in the program. This ranges from making Instagram reels and TikToks, to filming an interview with the creative director of Pixar. “I was freaking out as I was recording; it was so cool that I got to talk and meet with him,” Tschumperlin said.
Skills he has developed at NMU, from operating a Go-Pro and other camera equipment to communications skills, equipped Tschumperlin for success in his position. Being involved at NMU as an orientation leader, campus tour guide and working in the university's Marketing and Communications Office also helped him gain networking skills, which helped to prepare him for the interview process.
“I think that when you do build those connections with people back at home or at Northern, they're really invested in you and in your future,” Tschumperlin said. “I keep up with those people almost every couple days here. I send texts, updates about my job and cool photos and stuff to those who supported me back at Northern.”
Tschumperlin's advice to students is to learn from those around them and take advantage of opportunities to network and connect with people, because they never know how others' experience could become relevant to their path.
“If you have an aspiration or a dream, shoot for it; the worst that happens is you get told no. And lastly, things you learn while at NMU are going to help you achieve your goals, so utilize your time at Northern.”
Right under Luke Tschumperlin's name on his name tag is “Northern Michigan University.” He says he loves the opportunity to represent NMU and it is something truly special.
Check out his "day in the life of a Disney intern" video here.